Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Suddenly Vampirism - Mythos Theme: Bastion

Character: Patricia Althius

Attention: 1/3

Fade: 0/3

Mystery: "What exactly happened in that tomb?"

Ever since she fell into that old tomb on her tour in the War, Patricia has been changing into something else.

Power Tags

A - Beauté Royale
C - Supernatural Healing
F -  Blood Makes Everything Better
G - Vampiric Fangs and Claws
I - Rise from the Dead


C - Fanatical Devotion
D - Sense of Superiority


New Power Tag


Gained attention when she looked into Middle Eastern archaeology and mythology at the beginning of the Dreams of Corruption and Pursuit case.

Gained attention when her sense of superiority got the better of her during the interaction with Detective Arthur Kendrick at the beginning of The Greek Princess case.

Gained attention when her overconfidence had her diving head first through a moving car's windshield.

Gained attention when her first blood high caused her to act recklessly.

Story Stuff

Chosen Questions

How does your Mythos protect its agenda? Beauté Royale

Rationale: Both the Count of Monte Cristo and Lamashtu wore the appearance of impeccable aristocracy and nobility. For the Count it was a complete fabrication meant to operate both as cloak and weapon, for Lamashtu it is how she judges worth. In both cases, their first line of defense is in creating the feeling that they are above common assault to dissuade enemies.

What particular trait of your defense makes it useful? Supernatural Healing

Rationale: This, and most of the remaining tags, are a function of the vampirism seeping into her legend under the influence of Lamashtu. The vampire goddess's desire to spread her world view is more aggressive than the Count's subtle manner and thus much of the initial manifestation of their combined legend is Lamashtu's doing.

What other effect or quality, not necessarily defensive, came with your defense? Vampiric fangs and claws.

Rationale: Patricia would have had the fangs and longer nails regardless, but having them as a tag makes them mechanically useful to her in a tight situation.

Extra Tag: In a clinch, how can you use your defense to change the odds in your favor? Rise from the Dead

Rationale: Neither the Count of Monte Cristo nor Lamashtu and vampires in general stay dead easy, though the Count's return from death was metaphoric rather than literal. When killed, Patricia will most likely come back to life eventually. Note that this is actual life. Her heart returns to beating, she starts breathing again, and her injuries heal. This is very different to Post-Mortem the undead assassin included as a playable character in the starter kit. Post-Mortem is a walking dead woman and can't die. Patricia can be killed, but will likely recover from it. As with Post-Mortem, there are still a lot of ways that Patricia can meet a final fate.

Improvement Tag: What secondary defensive effect does your defense have? Blood makes everything better

When she's recently drunk a significant amount of blood, Patricia's abilities are heightened. She is more beautiful, faster, heals better, stronger, and more enthralling after drinking blood. However, this means that Lamashtu is closer to the surface and her Sense of Superiority is likely to push her in over her head. 

To what attacks is your defense susceptible? Fanatical Devotion

Rationale: The immediate obvious use is that a fanatic is less likely to be affected by how beautiful or authoritative a person seems. But it carries over to her more blatant supernatural defenses. This weakness was inspired by the way Heroes in the Beast RPG can create weaknesses in a beast. From the Hero's perspective, they research, investigate or stumble upon a weakness that was already there when in actuality, it is their fanaticism and connection to the dream which creates the weakness. In a similar way, someone with the proper amount of obsession and certainty that a particular method will work can make her Supernatural Healing and Rise from the Dead abilities at the very least more difficult to occur. However, if there remains some doubt, then there is a chance she can recover.

What personality trait derived from your defense gets you in trouble? Sense of Superiority.

Rationale: The Count of Monte Cristo firmly believed himself to be an appointed agent of Providence which is why he very specifically exposed those of his enemy's sins that did not touch on their crimes against him. By the end of the book this moral certainty was shaken as he took in some of the unintended consequences to the innocent, but it is still a central part of the character. In a similar manner, Lamashtu is a demon-goddess who believes in a very clear hierarchy between the noble and the peasant and considers the worthy to be very different sorts of animals. Her desire to make vampires of those she sees as worthy partially springs from this sense that some people are just better than others. These trends of superiority have bled into Patricia's mindset.

Blood Drinking and Daylight

One might expect that given the character is a vampire, that I would have included daylight and the need to feed as weaknesses. Part of why I haven't is because it is still early in the story, her blood-drinking is limited to an appetite for bloody steaks and the like for now. When I do include these elements it won't be as weaknesses.

Blood-drinking will be a thing that further empowers her Bastion so that after feeding she seems more beautiful, heals faster, her claws cut deeper, and returns from the dead quicker. Similarly, the impetus to act in the dark will come later with a different Mythos theme where some of her powers will be stronger and more effective in the darkness.

Part of this is personal appeal, neither myself nor the other people in my group really like the Hollywood interpretation that vampires must always die in the sun. It's a characteristic that was not found in any of the four major vampire novels of the 19th century (Varney the Vampire, The Vampyre, Carmilla, or Dracula) though Carmilla was drowsy during the day and Dracula lost most of his supernatural powers in daylight. But also because of the nature of the vampirism's source.

Lamashtu does not hunger for blood, she is empowered by it. For her blood-letting is passion and sacrifice. It is not something she needs, it is something she desires. The use of blood-drinking as an empowering tag acts like an always tempting carrot dangling ahead on a stick drawing Patricia to take it and feeds that perception. Making it a weakness that swats her like a stick would be more to make the hunger a prison and leash, which doesn't fit the way Lamashtu thinks. Though, psychology being what it is, I imagine being denied that extra +1 to the roll for not drinking blood will still have an effect.

So, Patricia breathes, her heart beats, blood will act as an empowering temptation, and when she gets darkness related powers later, the daylight will remove one thing that makes her powers stronger. She will still be goaded into acting as a vampire, and in some ways, the perception that it's a choice rather than a need will make it harder to resist.

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